Despite their recent offensive struggles, the New England Patriots have gained a large spread for their Week 15 clash with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. According to Nick Goss of NBC Sports, the Patriots, who are carrying a 10-3 mark are the 9.5-point favorite over the 1-12 Bengals at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, their highest spread in six games. In their past five outings, the Patriots went just 2-3, including back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Patriots were previously tabbed as favorites over the Baltimore Ravens (3 points), Philadelphia Eagles (3.5 points), Dallas Cowboys (6.5 points), Texans (3.5 points) and the Chiefs (3 points).

The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season to the Ravens, 37-10, before recovering with close wins over the Eagles and the Cowboys. This season, the Patriots are just 7-6 against the spread. The Patriots also lost the No. 1 seed in the AFC following their two-game losing streak, dropping to second behind the Ravens. The Patriots can book a postseason spot with a win over the Bengals.

Belichick wary of Bengals' capability

Despite the Bengals’ lowly record, Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick doesn’t want to take any chances in their upcoming clash at Paul Brown Stadium.

Belichick said that while the Bengals are struggling mightily this season, they actually do a lot of things really well in all three phases of the game. “I’ve been very impressed watching them play and they cause a lot of problems,” said Belichick during his press conference on Wednesday, a transcript of which was posted on the Patriots’ official website. The veteran head coach particularly praised the Bengals’ special teams, coached by Darrin Simmons.

“As usual, they’re right at the top of the league in both punt and kickoff coverage, kickoff returns,” said Belichick during the press conference, calling the Bengals’ special teams as a solid group and well-coached.

Defensively, Belichick said the Bengals have a very disruptive front in defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Carlos Dunlap and defensive tackle Geno Atkins. “It’s a very aggressive defense and really makes you work for the yards,” said Belichick.

On offense, Belichick said the Bengals have a very good skill group, led by veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, rushers Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard and tight ends Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah Belichick added that first-year head coach Zac Taylor has done a great job with the Bengals.

Edelman misses practice, Brady limited

Veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman missed Wednesday’s practice due to knee and shoulder injuries, according to NBC Sports’ Nick Goss.

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But according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Edelman’s absence was connected to load management. Fellow wideouts N’Keal Harry and Mohamed Sanu were also listed in the injury report with hip and ankle issues, respectively. However, Harry was a full participant while Sanu was limited. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was listed in the injury report with a right elbow issue but was a full practice participant during practice.

After their loss to the Chiefs, Brady said he expected his name to appear in the injury report.

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